Thursday, February 21, 2013

Oh Grow Up!

Funny how quickly we want to grow up when we are kids. Then, when it's not all we thought it would be nothing sounds more fun and comforting than being a little baby. My kids have gotten a kick out of hearing the crazy things they use to say as babies. Our drive to school in the mornings have been full of giggles lately. Elyse called crackers "I yas", as did Isaiah. She called caterpillars "packy hunkies",  and as far as Isaiah was concerned my dad was not Papa, he was "PooPoo". That one is everybody's favorite! We still love to hear Hannah call a hamburger, "hangburber". We ask her over and over again what it is called and then erupt into fits of laughter as she struggles with the word. Before you go feeling too sorry for her you should know she loves being the center of attention. She joins in with her own giggles every time! The problem is my kids all talked early and well. There were only a handful of cute little "misspeaks". But they are determined to think they were hilarious children. 

"Mommy what did I call a spoon?" One will ask. 
"Umm, spoon." I reply
"No I think I called it spoony"

And then they are all in hysterics. "Mama, can I have a spoony please." in far fetched baby voices. More giggles. This goes on for the entire fifteen minute drive. Sometimes they don't even bother asking me first. They have made up their own baby language and are completely convinced they remember talking like that all those years ago. 

A couple of my pretty babies... 
back when they were actually babies. :(

My kids, like all children, could not wait to start school. They'd carry back packs around the house, whine about when the day would come. Now there are tears, faked illnesses, and any excuse they can come up with to stay home. It's not all they thought it would be. 

Even Jarrod and I, old as we are, long for just one day of the simplicity that came with being a child. Nobody depended on us, we were responsible for our bedroom and personal hygiene and that was about it. Money was just there when we needed it, and fears could be erased with a hug and a kiss on the forehead. Doesn't that sound lovely? 

You know what does not sound lovely? Waiting around for a ride. The "dating game". Wondering what God's will for my life is. Not having Jarrod in my life. Not knowing and loving each one of my beautiful children. Having to ask permission for EVERYTHING, only eating what somebody else bought - what sounded good to somebody else. When I look at it that way, I am kind of fond of being a big girl. Independence is a beautiful thing! Making decisions, going when I want to go, getting to take care of somebody else... It is what I am preparing my own children for even now. It is God's design for us to grow up. 

He also desires for us to grow up spiritually. Some of us, myself included, would like to keep it simple, surfacey. We don't want to grow in our knowledge of Him. With increased knowledge of His word and will comes accountability to live it out. Fluffy sermons make us feel good, there is no challenge, no push to move forward. We don't want the suffering and pain that brings maturity. We prefer the good gifts and fuzzy feelings that came with our salvation package when we received it. 

But just like personal growth brings confidence and our own two feet to stand on, so does spiritual growth. I see it here in Proverbs 22:15, 17 & 18 - Folly is bound up in the heart of a child... Pay attention and listen to the sayings of the wise; apply your heart to what I teach, for it is pleasing when you keep them in your heart and have all of them ready on your lips. I have always desired that kind of spiritual maturity, where I am "ready to give an answer" (1 Peter 3:15) at any moment. But it comes from growth. It is not in us from the beginning. We get it by searching, being in the word, humbly listening to those who are wiser. 

I want to be like this guy. With my act together. Firm, steadfast, solid. Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. (Psalm 1:1-3) See the joy and blessings that come when we grow? We yield fruit, we have strength, we prosper. 

Remember when you were a kid and were in trouble? Remember that feeling of dread, waiting for the hammer to fall, for a decision to be made about what the appropriate discipline would be? I could not wait for the day to come when I was all grown up and couldn't get in trouble any more. Ha! I may not have a mom or dad handing out well deserved spankings, but by golly if I do not get myself into all kinds of trouble. Hebrews 5:11-14 says, "We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil." Here I am 32 years old, by all standards (except maybe my mom's) a grown woman. Yet here I am still slow to learn, still having to go back to those first bible lessons I learned in sunday school. When clearly by now I should know how to behave, should really be teaching others how to. 

James 1:2-4 says, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. Even life itself, the struggles, heartaches, bumps in the road - are all meant to grow us up, so that we will one day be a finished work! I want that. More than mandatory nap time, more than getting to have somebody else make the tough decisions. I want to be a finished work, not lacking but complete! 

A favorite movie line for my mom and myself is from the movie 10 Things I Hate About You. I know, real mature, right?! Heath Ledger is talking to Julia Styles about her younger sister. He says, "I know everyone 'digs' your sister, but she's without." Hhhhmmm, it was such a romantic line in the context of the movie. It was also the ultimate slap in the face for the younger sister, had she been there to hear it. I do not want others to think of me as, "without". I'd much rather be complete. The full version of the Sarah God created me to be. Not some phony puny version that is "good enough to get by with". 

And now for the best part... The difference between personal growth and spiritual growth, and it is a fabulous difference - is that the idea behind growing up is to become more independent. As you grow up you grow away, in some ways, from those you have depended upon. With growth in the Lord, we are growing closer to Him. We learn that in our maturity we need to rely on Him more. I find it a comfort to know, now that I am older and long to NOT have to bear all the responsibility of myself by myself, I don't have to! He desires my growth, my ability to function with maturity, but not all on my own. Totally and completely dependent on Him. I like the idea of that!  

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